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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
4100 - Computerised Bibliographic Record Actions Plus Preservation and Service Developments for Electronic Publications
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ Concerted Action 6 and 2 June 1996 January 1999 30

Keywords : bibliographic records; electronic publications/publishing; metadata; national libraries
Related projects : BIBLINK; COBRA

blue bullet Additional information is available from the CoBRA Web site (

Concerted Action

This is a concerted action involving national libraries in Europe.

Call Topic(s)

Call topic 2: Tools and methods for the creation and use of library materials in electronic form.

Project description

CoBRA+ was a concerted action, involving national libraries in Europe. Its main goals were to build on a concertation activity (CoBRA) set up in 1993 to promote initiatives and actions in the area of national bibliographic services at a European level. CoBRA+ consolidated previous work while widening its focus beyond national bibliographic services to include collection based issues, particularly those concerned with electronic publications and related service developments in national libraries. Particular emphasis was placed on resource access and sharing, user needs and the use of communications networks to achieve these aims.

Organisational approach

A Steering Group of eight national libraries worked with the support of two main Task Groups. The first dealt with metadata and bibliographic control and access, with particular reference to electronic publications. The second was concerned with examining issues and recommending actions in the area of electronic publications and digital resources. The Task Groups examined issues underpinning the development of future projects, and carried out small-scale, targeted technical feasibility studies.

Key issues

Among the main technical issues explored were:

  • Bibliographic descriptions for electronic and network publications and related access issues.
  • Subject access, authority control, language issues (particularly in a networked environment).
  • Networked information resource description and retrieval.
  • Digitisation techniques.
  • Implications of legal deposit of electronic publications.
  • Long term storage of, and access to, electronic publications and digital collections.
  • Service developments for electronic publications and digital collections.
  • Integration into operational and service environments of current work into conversion formats, character sets, file transmission standards.

Impact and expected results

CoBRA+ continued the promotion and implementation of agreed common actions between key national libraries and other major players in Europe, aimed at stimulating the creation of a European libraries infrastructure. It further encouraged cross-border resource sharing and access to services, by libraries and by their users

The results included:

  • Recommendations for projects and collaborative initiatives.
  • Technical feasibility studies and recommendations.
  • Exploitation plans for integrating results of previous CoBRA initiatives.

Documentation can be obtained from the contact below and from CoBRA Web site


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
The British Library, National Bibliographic Service UK - WETHERBY LS23 7BQ UK
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Howard SHOEMARK Address: Boston Spa
Tel: +44 1937 546596 Fax: +44 1937 546586
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Deutsche Bibliothek DE P
Bibliothèque Nationale de France FR P
Koninklijke Bibliotheek NL P
Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro PT P
Helsingin Yliopiston Kirjasto (National Library of Finland) FI P
National Library of Ireland (Until April 1998) IRL P
Schweizerische Landesbibliothek CH P
Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico - ICCU (From March 1998) IT P

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